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Picadillo
© Con Poulos

Picadillo

  • ACTIVE: 25 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • MAKE-AHEAD

Chef David Guas describes this traditional Cuban ground-beef stew with raisins, onions, olives and tomato as an “à la minute chili.” According to him, it’s a simple dish with countless variations. “My mom and I used to argue about picadillo: My grandmother made it a certain way, my father another,” he says. “Now that I’ve tasted versions of it in Cuba, I’m able to get my head around some of these slight differences.”

  1. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  3. 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  4. 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  5. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
  7. 1/2 cup sliced pitted green olives
  8. 1/3 cup raisins
  9. 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crumbled
  10. 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  11. One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  12. 1 cup beef stock or low-sodium broth
  13. Salt
  14. Freshly ground pepper
  15. Steamed rice, for serving
  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, olives, raisins and oregano and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Serve with steamed rice.
Make Ahead The picadillo can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Grenache tends to have juicy, lively fruit, which can go with practically anything. It’s exceptional with dishes like this picadillo, which has a lot going on, from tomatoes to chiles to olives.

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